#100happydays

#100happydays

Some of you may be wondering why I am repeating my 100 days of happiness. Honestly, one day I was walking along the trail feeling so thankful for the sweet scents enveloping me, the gently breeze, the wildflowers swaying gently as I passed….. I reflected on how many of these wonderful daily blessings grace my life bringing me joy.

We all know there a lot of negative things happening in our world. I decided to remind myself about the many joys that brighten my little world every single day.

I love the practice of being more keenly aware of all the beautiful bounty of happiness I can tap into whenever and wherever I choose.

I find the more aware I become of the happiness quotient that is available to me, the less the negativity depletes me. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Plus, I can do this on Instagram now too.  J

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Shadow Play

Sunday morning I was fortunate to be awake and paying attention to the play of light and shadows as the show took place on the garden room cherry cabinet doors and stairs. The breeze was coaxing the leaves overhead into a lively dance.

I watched the dancing shadows in pure amazement, awed at the intricacy of their choreography. Such a short fragment of time to catch a glimpse of this fluttery movement before full sunlight took center stage.

What a blessing for this singular audience to view a snippet of nature’s remarkable artistry.

Sunday Shadow Play

This morning I was fortunate enough to be awake and paying attention to the play of light and shadows as the show took place on our garden room cherry cabinet doors and stairway. The breeze was coaxing the leaves overhead into a lively dance. I watched the dancing shadows in pure amazement at the intricacy of their choreography. Such a short fragment of time to get a glimpse of this fluttery movement before full sunlight took center stage. What a blessing for this singular audience to witness a snippet of nature’s intricate artistry.

Food — so much more than what’s on your plate

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I stood in the pouring rain this morning, plastic reusable bags in hand chatting with the special people who grow the delicious salads that grace my table every evening. As those who know me best know, I love to cook and I love every part of the cooking process from choosing my ingredients on the grocery store shelf or from the simple tented stands that line both sides of the Columbia Farmers Market.

I debated whether to “weather” the torrential downpours forecast for this morning. I mean I could have easily stayed all warm and snuggly in front of the wood stove, coffee cup in hand. But the thought of missing the best of the asparagus or arugula urged me to don my blue raincoat and Whole Kids Outreach ball cap.

I have been thinking a lot about the art of cooking this week. A friend just recently extolled the virtues of getting a whole gourmet meal, divided into ingredients I would swish together in a half hour for a fabulous meal after work. I thought about it for a minute and decided that wasn’t for me. I realized as I thought about it more that cooking is an art form for me and my ingredients are my palate. I like concentrating on what flavors and colors will compliment each dish in the meal. I love thinking about this every single day that I am home, as opposed to bringing home a prepared dinner from the local grocer or having it sent in a box from a place hundreds of miles away.

I absolutely love kicking off my Saturday visiting with the growers, even in the chilly pouring rain. I love their commitment to growing these vegetables and they love my commitment to appreciating and buying them. What a wonderful relationship we have engendered which makes my homemade, homegrown meal even more special. “Good for you” meals are rooted in love – love for the land, love for our bodies, and love for each other.

I think it is the foundation for a healthy society – healthiness that has a broader definition than being focused on our bodies – I see it has an important part of a healthy social fabric. And I might be so bold as to say it is the root of fundamental social health.

The personal relationship between the maker/grower and the artist who makes the meal impacts them and those around them. A ripple of positivity occurs. There is something quite transformative that happens here. No wonder it means so much to me.

 

Writing — My Life Line

Sarah posted a blog this past week (https://www.sarahratermannbeahan.com/blog) about the importance of writing to get rid of the “BS chatter in your mind and weighing on your heart so new life and creativity can grow.

As I have probably mentioned on this site before, I have journaled for years, even before I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Cameron’s book certainly underscored the importance of writing practice. Putting pen to paper is therapy for me. I can say whatever I want, whenever I want and nothing is judged. Once I start writing I know I can dump the good, the bad and the really ugly, and leave it there within those manila pages.

Actually, it is much more to me than unloading all that is cluttering my psyche. It is also a creative expression. I absolutely love seeing my flow across the page, my handwriting curling and swirling in different colors every day. Maybe I became more devoted to my cursive handwriting when I got a “D” in third grade in handwriting. Whatever the reason, it is part of how I express myself now.

I also kick off my day’s entry with a simply drawing. Lately I’ve been drawing spring leaves on long, flowing stems, filling them in with a yellow chartreuse pencil. Coloring my own drawings brings me even more satisfaction than in coloring in any of my numerous coloring books.

I often people my monthly hair appointment is my therapy session (God love you, Josh!) But truly, my open sketch book – my beloved journal provides an emotional outlet, a healing session every day. It helps me to empty my obsessive list of to-do’s – freeing my mind so I can open to allowing my creativity and inspiration to come through me. It is amazing what emerges after just a short written respite.

I know there have been studies that have shown the importance of writing – the powerful connection between the hand and the mind. With pen and paper at my fingertips I have navigated a myriad of challenges with grace and determination. My writing has helped me to persist.

a case for imperfection

“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”   Author unknown

I keep thinking about this statement and all the applications in my life….

The three grain bread I made today isn’t rounded on the top – but it smells good and it tastes delicious, certainly better than any bread I can buy a grocery store.

My body – same thing. My curves are curvier than they were last year. My feet seem to ache more than they did a couple of years ago. But I love that my eyes can see the exquisite beauty of this late summer afternoon, my ears take in the twitter of the birds in our trees and the voice of the breeze in the trees calms me.  My happy feet and legs make my walks along the river possible. The wonders of my body make my life richer despite my graying hair and the lines on my forehead.

My relationships bear this maxim out as well. I have been married to the same tall, creative, determined lovely man for over 40 years. Our marriage has weathered its fair share of storms but I still can’t wait to see him when we’ve been apart for a few days.

I mean, what would our worlds be like if all was perfect???? I believe the imperfections are the guideposts for new lessons and growth –the kinds of things that make us want to get up in the morning.

I’ll take the wonderful and learn from the imperfections. Life is good this way.